FGI News and Publications

October 13, 2010 issue – Immigration News

Is South Carolina the Next State to Introduce Immigration

Enforcement Laws?

Oct 08, 2010: Lawmakers in South Carolina are currently investigating potential reforms to their state’s immigration laws. Earlier this week, a congressional judicial subcommittee listened to testimonies at a public hearing. In that hearing, Senator Glenn McConnell, who lead the meeting, commented that the federal government has not adequately enforced immigration laws and that it is now the states’ responsibilities to do so. “We are determined to do what is necessary to keep people safe in their homes and on the streets of South Carolina…. This law has got to be enforced or this country is going to be overrun,” McConnell said in an interview with a local news station.

 

The state’s legislature will reconvene early next year and signs lead to it taking up this issue at that time. At the same time, state management of immigration legislation is being taken up by the Supreme Court, which, in November, will review Arizona’s recent legislation that requires companies to use the federal E-Verify program to confirm the employment eligibility of new employees.

ICE Presents Record-Breaking Immigration Enforcement Statistics

for FY 2010.

Oct 07, 2010: Earlier this week, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released immigration enforcement statistics that have been achieved under the Obama administration. In their report, the two directors state that the Obama administration has imposed approximately $50 million in fines/sanctions for worksite enforcement violations. Secretary Napolitano also stressed that the Obama administration would continue to enforce immigration laws to employers through I-9 audits, fines, debarments and other enforcement strategies. “This administration has focused on enforcing our immigration laws in a smart, effective manner that prioritizes public safety and national security and holds employers accountable who knowingly  and repeatedly break the law,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Our approach has yielded historic results, removing more convicted criminal aliens than ever before and issuing more financial sanctions on employers who knowingly and repeatedly violate immigration law than during the entire previous administration.”

Key statistics presented include the following:

1) 180 owners, employers, managers and/or supervisors were criminally charged by ICE in FY 2010

2) ICE conducted over 2,200 I-9 audits in FY 2010

3) 97 businesses and 49 people were debarred by ICE in FY 2010

.Supreme Court to Hear Case about Arizona E-Verify Law.

Oct 06, 2010: Later this year, the Supreme Court will hear a case related to an Arizona law that requires the use of E-Verify, the federal online employment eligibility verification system. The case, which will be held December 8, should clarify whether states have the right to mandate the use of such a program. Opponents of the Arizona law claim it infringes on the rights of individuals, while supporters of the law state that the state has the right to monitor and remove business licenses, because it is the entity that provides those licenses.

It is believed that the decision from the Supreme Court will hold weight in more than just the Arizona law that requires the use of E-Verify. It could also provide guidance for states seeking to implement other laws related to immigration enforcement.

Local Communities May Not Be Able to Opt Out of the Secure

Communities Program.

Oct 01, 2010: Recent communication from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) implies that local communities, even those that chose to opt out, may be required to participate in the Secure Communities program. The program, which enables ICE to use fingerprints collected by state and local law enforcement officials as a means to identify illegal immigrants, is considered by many local law officials to be a detriment to their ability to provide adequate police services to their communities.

Secure Communities was widely considered to be optional and many local communities, including the District of Columbia, San Francisco and Santa Clara County (CA), had chosen to opt out of participation in the program. However, a senior ICE official recently commented that ICE will have access to fingerprints forwarded to FBI from state and local law enforcement officials, regardless of local communities’ wishes to not participate in the program.

DHS Testing the Use of Eye Scanners in

Texas.

Sep 29, 2010: The Department of Homeland Security has begun testing eye-reading machines at one border crossing. The machines, which scan people’s irises, is being tested in a two- to eight-week trial in McAllen, Texas as part of a Homeland Security assessment of the new technology. The goal of the testing is to see how the scanners work in an actual Customs and Border protection setting.

“This is a preliminary test of how the technology performs,” said Amy Kudwa, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security. “We have no specific plans for acquiring or deploying this type of technology at this point.”

The U.S. Department of Defense currently uses similar scanners at military locations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The newer versions of these eye-reading devices, however, are able to identify multiple  people at one time from a distance of up to 30 feet.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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